STEM gets Bigger and Better at WAS in 2018

Whitsunday Anglican School promotes a culture of excellence, in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). In 2018, the subject, STEM, will be taught from Years 5 to 8. In 2019, it will be rolled out as an elective that can be delivered in Years 9 and in Year 10 in 2020.

STEM is a curriculum based on educating students in four specific disciplines — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. There is more technology in today’s economy than at any other time because businesses are adopting new technologies to remain competitive. STEM skills are valuable as an employability skill, and are in high demand due to their positive effect on business processes and economic drivers.

In the STEM course students will learn to solve real world problems using technology, innovation and creativity. They will engage in project and challenge based learning activities that align with 21st Century learning and focus on creative solutions. WAS is fortunate to have a range of teachers with an interest in STEM, many of which have participated in STEM careers prior to teaching. This will be an invaluable asset to the delivery of an engaging and rigorous learning program.

The Foundation for Young Australians (2015) reports the following projections about the future of work in Australia:

  • 40% of current jobs are at high risk of automation in the next 10 – 15 years
  • 70% of young people will enter the job market in jobs that will be lost or automated
  • 90% of future jobs will require digital literacy
  • 50% will require advanced digital skills
  • 75% of jobs will involve Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths

An analysis of job advertisements between 2012 and 2015 showed that those jobs which involved problem solving, digital literacy and presentation skills are paying significant income premiums.

Our young people need to be not only strong in literacy and numeracy but increasingly in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and, most importantly, they also need to develop a ‘newer’ set of capabilities (McIntosh, 2017, p.3).

Whitsunday Anglican School is also committed to the development of the following 21st Century Thinking skills:

  • Empathy
  • Enterprise skills
  • Positive Attitude
  • Contribution
  • Communication
  • Team Work
  • Collaboration
  • Self-management
  • Willingness to learn
  • Creativity
  • Resilience
  • Problem-Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Character
  • Global Understanding

Reference: McIntosh, R (2017) Future Directions in New Zealand Schooling: The case for transformation Centre of Strategic Education, July. Seminar Series 266.